Judge Tells Jury In Bob Bates Trial It Could Be Deliberating By Wednesday
TULSA, Oklahoma - Prosecutors wrapped up testimony Monday afternoon in the case against Bob Bates. The defense then presented its list of witnesses in the case of the former reserve deputy accused of shooting and killing Eric Harris.
At the end of the day, the judge told the jury it could be deliberating by Wednesday.
The last to testify for the state were deputies Mike Heisten and Don Stach. Stach collected bloody clothes following Harris’ death, and Heisten interviewed Bates following the shooting.
The bloody clothing was a point of contention during day four. The state showed images of Harris’ bloody clothing due to medical procedures and the gunshot wound. Bates’ attorney, Clark Brewster, was upset and argued the images were not representative of actual blood loss due to the bullet. He said the blood could have come from the CPR and two incisions doctors made in Harris' sides while trying to save him.
Day four was also the first time Bates’ training came up in the trial; but nothing about his lack of documented training. Heisten also testified that, despite a statement, Bates had no ground-fighting training.
Eric’s brother Andre said he feels his brother has been put on trial and not Bates. He said he wishes the jury could’ve heard Bates was using a gun he wasn’t qualified on and lacked training.
"First three days all we heard was Eric Harris ran, Eric Harris did this or that, but we don't hear about Bob Bates' record as being unqualified; 73-year-old fake deputy that was carrying his own personal firearm," Andre Harris said.
Jurors were also given the opportunity to hold Bates’ gun and Taser to compare their weight and grips. A deputy testified Bates' gun and Taser have similar three-finger grips, the same red laser sight and are close in weight.
After the state rested its case, the defense asked for a dismissal, saying the state hasn’t proven Bates’ actions were culpable negligence. The judge ruled against the motion. The state argued it didn’t need an expert to say Bates’ actions were negligent, common sense says no one shoots someone by accident.
The first and only witness for the defense Monday was Dr. Charles Morgan, a forensic psychiatrist who testified that he believed stress, rather than negligence, could have caused Bates to mistake his handgun for his Taser when he shot Harris. Morgan said he believed that Bates, in a moment of high stress, likely " reverted to habit" and drew his handgun from its holster.
Assistant District Attorney Kevin Gray asked Morgan if he had reviewed any of Bates' training records to see if Bates had drawn a weapon enough to even form a habit. Morgan said "no" and that if he discovered Bates had not done the training Morgan had been led to believe Bates had accomplished, his stance on Bates' actions during the shooting would likely change.
After days of testimony, the defense hopes the witness accounts will back up a theory that it wasn't the shooting that killed Harris. They are expected to call more expert witnesses Tuesday.
"That the cause of death was something other than the bullet," said attorney Corbin Brewster. "It was due to heart disease, meth use and his exertion that day."
Friday, a forensic pathologist testified it was the shooting that caused Harris' death - though she noted the drugs in his system - and documented blockages in his heart.
News On 6 partner, The Frontier, is also covering this story. You can find more of their coverage here.